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May 1998 




Mount Wachusett Community College 



Editors: 



Staff: 



Jeanne Hue 
Jennifer Shattuck 



Chris Banahan 
Judith Durkee 
Allison Lahikainen 
Jeffrey Landry 
KarynMaki 
Eric Peterson 
Dorothy Scarbrough 



Faculty Advisor: 

Arthur Marley 



All students are welcome to submit their original writings and artwork to be considered 
for publishing in The Mole or i magazine. Submissions may be given to any of the staff, 
or placed in their mailboxes. 



Factory 



It was an assembly line. 

It had lots of people doing lots of things. 

It was repetitious work. 

There were machines, machines that we brought to life, at the expense of our own, everyday. Their 

sounds put me in a trance after about an hour. That repetitious work followed by the sounds of all the 

machines. After a while I couldn't have been any closer to dancing right there at my station. My 

hydraulic machine with its beautiful sounds transformed into a single instrument playing in harmony with 

an entire orchestra. The rhythms, the rawness, and then one sound seemed to rise and shine as it 

separated itself from its colleagues; and, as if with permission from the other machines, it did a solo, a 

solo that came at the right time and just worked. It was the girl over on machine 7, she played it so well, 

did anybody else recognize the music fighting through the ear plugs? 

Time to go to break. 

When I got back everything changed. 

The rhythm was gone. 

All I heard was noise. 

My body was getting sore sitting on the stool. 

I started thinking about fishing. 

I started thinking about a new job. 



by Keith Whitehead 



I lost an hour this weekend-where did it go? They just took it away from me when they made me 
set my clock ahead! I was going to do something profound in that hour-now I'm left with my schedule an 
hour short and no time to do the thing that I had planned to do. All my other time is scheduled-even 
writing this essay had to be fit into my calendar. But I can't break away from the demands of my 
datebook, especially now that I am an hour short. I must adhere to the plan. It's too bad that I didn't 
have time to do that thing, for it may have freed us all from the confines of the calendar-but alas, there is 
no time and now it's worse than ever because, after all, I'm an hour short. 

What to do, what to do? Maybe I could run from my responsibilities and steal some scheduled 
time to change the world...That would take a lot of courage, though, because how would I explain where 
I got the time to do what I did now that I'm already behind? Just how does one make up an hour? Drive 
faster to work only to be stopped by a policeman doing his job and thereby causing me to be even later 
than ever? How about if I don't take time to eat, sleep, study or write? No, I guess I'd better just stick to 
my schedule and forget about the great things I would have done if I hadn't been forced to give up that 
one hour... 



by Faye Arey 



It's Spring! 

In the whole universe, every creature revolts 

Thunderously awaken from lengthy nights 

Somber days are left behind 

Spring forward, the future awaits 

Potential hope of life ahead 

Rush forward, to grasp for chances 

In struggle that has sequence 

Nourishing the future bud 

Glorious! The spring of success! 

by Xuyen Nguyen 



One man moves out the glass sliding door into the yard. The music, loud inside, is muffled when 
he closes the door. Moths fling themselves against the warmth of the porch light. He moves away from 
it, and down the stairs onto the lawn. The moths do not follow. 

He takes out his pack and shakes one out, careful to feel for the filter to make sure it is not the 
one that has been turned upside down. Its stupid, he thought, but why mess with it. He flicked the Bic 
and sighed. He sat down facing the house and the door, facing anywhere else would have made him look 
over his shoulder at every noise. He always remembers his dad saying Billy the Kid or someone was shot 
in the back when he sat with it to the door. Another stupid habit 

He had cone outside to smoke, but he also didn't like being around the goat they had brought 
inside. Somebody thought that'd be funny, and in their drunken stupor, it must have been. But the 
intoxicated society in there didn't notice the smell. He decided it wouldn't be good to go to this sort of 
shindig anymore and not drink. You are supposed to be drinking here. But he had decided not to... 

He sees them in their stupor, with a clear gaze. They talk about beer, and beer, and beer, and sex. 
He sees them, and their ideas, and their future. But it is not his. He has to leave that society to be happy. 
His fake laughs at poor insights and notions of deep thoughts are not fulfilling. 

Only his thoughts of her are fulfilling. Not his future, which is unpleasandy uncertain, and not his 
friends, and not noble notions of the kind of man he wanted to be and the kind of man he has become, 
just her. She is uncomfortable with him relying on her like that. 

The door's latch was jiggled, drawing his attention. Fred was trying to come outside but had 
trouble with the lock. It opened, and he tripped onto the porch. He grabbed a railing with one hand and 
steadied himself with a belt of what was in the plastic cup in his other hand. He gazed over the field until 
he saw the crouched figure in the dark. Fred stumbled over empty bottles and over the lawn with 
difficulty, calling for his companion. "Wayne? Is that you there, Wayne?" 

"Yeah, Fred, right here. Take it easy, Chief, just sit down," he said softly through the smoke. 

"Ya know, Wayne," Fred said between gulps, "You really should be drinking. Everyone else is... I 
don't know, it's just not right." 

"I have decided not to, Fred, that's all. And I have to come here, or I'd just sit at home alone all 
the time," Wayne said. "But maybe that wouldn't be so bad after all, huh?" 

Fred mumbled something else and got up. He walked away and up the steps. With his hand on 
the door he turned around and drawled, "Fine. You just stay out there, then." 

Good, Fred, he thought, you just keep drinking. I'm outta here. I'll drive by her house, and see it 
she is still up. 



by Jack Kennedy 



I am very good 
at not letting myself feel 
or want you 
or ache for you 
Very good 

at letting the burn inside of me 
die out. 

Water soaked fantasies 
puddle inside my womb 
so that your stare 
your essence and your heat 
will not penetrate through 
into that place 
where I cannot deny 
or lie 
to myself anymore 

You ask me why I pull 

away from your touch 

Why I will not quiver in your arms. 

Why. 

Why don't I want you 

you ask me 

over and over again 

there will be no answer. 

I will not 

let you 

let myself 

want you 

I will not 

let truth be your ally 

so you may batde 
your way into my soul 
again. 



Sick Mother's Lament 



Can't any of you see 

how horrid I feel? 

My throat is on fire, 

my shout is a squeal. 

The wheeze in my chest 

is sapping my breath, 

while the pain in my head 

scares me to death. 

I can't sleep at night, 

my coughing 's too loud. 

I can't function by day, 

my brain's in a cloud. 

Can't anyone here 

do for themselves? 

Put the trash in the basket, 

the toys on the shelves. 

A sandwich is easy 

to make if you try, 

then wash up your dishes 

and God will dry. 

I'm sorry to put you 

to all of this bother, 

but all that I want 

is just my own Mother!! 



Jeanne Hue 



by Jennifer shattuck 



A Special Place 



No cars, no sirens, no radios, television, computers, etc. Just the peaceful sound of a small mountain 
stream passing me by. The sweet smell of spruce looms in the air, and a gende breeze preserves the 
aroma. A partridge perched on a stonewall fence absorbing the rays. Deer scrounging for acorns under 
the crisp autumn leaves and drinking from the cold mountain springs. Beavers building a dam for the 
trout to swim, and a hawk soaring high above. This is my place to escape, well known since I was a child, 
this is the other side of life, the side few too many visit. Wrapped up into their everyday dilemmas, 
Society has its prisoners-and for some there's no chance for parole. Money, more money, new house, 
new car, new computers, banks, interest, bonds, and when your dead-who cares? What did you get out 
of life? Don't become another victim of society's jungle, life is too short. 

by Jeremy Whalen 

Pen and Ink 

If I had a pen that was full of ink 

I'd sit and I'd write about all that I think. 

I'd write it all out, using all the right words 

To express all my thoughts about things that I've heard. 

if I had a pen and I had some ink 
I'd write out my anger and I won't make a stink. 
I'd write about hurts and I'd write about pain, 
I'd keep writing until my composure I'd gain. 

Once I had a pen and I had some ink, 

But I went to the kitchen for some water to drink, 

And when I returned to my desk again 

My paper was there, but where was my pen? 

So now I've some paper and I have some ink, 
But I don't have a pen so what do you think? 
My writing career was over and done, though 
I thought many words I never wrote one. 



by Faye Arey 



Space 



Space 

out there 

serenity and solitude 

billions of years 

intact 

just like the universe 

was created yesterday 

black darkness 

penetrated only by 

trillions of stars 

burning more than the imaginable. 

Planets 

aligned in all the ways possible 

speaking in a silent 

language so that even 

the planetary conversation 

does not penetrate the silence 

the darkness of 

space. 

by Anonymous 



Phantoms, 

tangible, yet imagined. 

Distorted images, 

clutch at my hand. 

Cold, 

tremulous. 

My voice disappears, 

Scream of terror dies in my throat, 

frozen in place. 

Fragments of my day 

not horrible by themselves, 

Combine to form 

inexplicable agony. 

Eyes fly open, 

glimpse reality, 

close again. 



by Anonymous 



The Cream in My Coffee 



I awake every morning to the same daily routine. How lame and boring, why can't I, for once, wake up 
with the attitude that today is a brand new day, with new and challenging possibilities. It's too early for 
that crap, I tell myself. Instead, I just do the same old, same old. Shower, and not a very invigorating 
one; coffee, instant coffee, not even the real stuff; and breakfast, sometimes, not all the time. For once 
I'd love to wake up to the sound of birds chirping, bacon and eggs cooking, and fresh-brewed coffee; with 
a shower like on the TV commercials. I suppose, in real life things just aren't that rosy. I wonder how 
many people actually awake to all those glorious things. One can dream. I'm the one in charge of my 
destiny. 

Well, it is only the morning, after all. But my whole day is the same. My day ends with the same lacking 
of intensity with which it began. Eat supper, watch TV, go to bed. You might think I was an 
eighty-year-old hermit For once I want a day to be like a classic movie, except in color. Oh, well, maybe 
things will be different tomorrow. Maybe I'll have cream in my coffee, instead of milk. 



by Kathleen Mailloux 

Simple 

Pieces missing from the puzzle, 

No, not a huge 2,000 piece puzzle, 

but a little kid's cutout, 

Simple, with tractors and trucks. 

Life is simple and basic and true- 

My life different in ways, 

But, hell— I know how to- 

drive a tractor and a truck- 

And set my table properly, 

And sit straight, 

And enjoy culture, 

And show compassion and kindness, 

I know how to smile, 

It's okay. 

by Dan Patton 



Swirl the sand with the green water 
Drip the sky onto the vines, long and winding 
Melt the sun with the glowing stars 
Everything will collide to form morning. 

I awoke and found myself still tired 
The long swim had taken its toll on my body 
Complete darkness beneath the ocean 
Deep cold water that split the sky in half 



The moon cast its light on the rocks 

Stars reflected off the choppy water 

In the middle of the night nobody moves 

No sounds are heard except the ones in your head 

When the sun rises color will appear 

All those who slept will open their eyes 

And those who were awake will tell a different story 

Of how they climbed the darkness and swam in the tide. 



by Collin Beaton 



When life became too hard to cry, 

I sat. 

When pain no longer cured the emptiness, 

I watched 

as summer sank beneath the horizon 

and quiet befell the land. 

Existence forged on a pile of dust, 

blown with the wind 

to the farthest reaches of ourselves. 

Frustration, hopelessness 

dwelled not here. 

only the pure and true. 

Looking out, 

I hear the rhythm 

and feel its pounding pulse. 

When life holds me to its bosom, 

I inhale, 

breathing in my own essence 

realizing myself 

and knowing peace. 



byAML 



Camel 

the bells summon spirit: 

not young, not old. 
exotic and cosmopolitan 

touring the world 
with knowing eyes 

angled to view 
a sure-footed stance 

adopting the truth 
the hump of reserve 

between you and I 
a spit of disdain 

instead of aery 
rebirth of rain 

drinking within 
replenishing the slump 

filling the tins 
sharing a burden 

carrying the load 
making magic 

of desert carpet rides 
journeying with mankind 

side by side 
honey-like elegance 

coloring my robe 
camel, humps 

carrying the load 
reserve of water 

priceless as gold 
steadying along 

the brass bells toll. 



by Judith A. Durkee 



Sweet Music 

Shutters closing when I'm drunk 

My face feels different every time 
I have never been wrong here 

Spitting in the face of God 
Worshipping my own ignorance 

Dancing when I am slapped in the face 
And I feel Stupid for taking it 
All for 

Granted 1 feel 

Full 

Devouring sweet music 

Your sweet smell 
My head swell 
My head empty 

But, hey, it's all right 
The skies are blue today 
An' I'm smilin' like a fool 
But I am an ANT 
ITS NOT RIGHT! ! ! 

We are humans are we not? 

No animal has ever devoured sweet music 
We all have Instincts 

But I think we'd rather be cold and distant 

Than thoughtful and human 
It's easier that way 
Because we devour sweet music 
And I spit in your ear 

Hoping you can't hear 
I know what it means to be free 
I chase it to 
Be free and 

For that 
I am 
Caged 



What we all need is to set aside all our thoughts 

And give them to someone else for 

Corrections in Syntax and Sanity 
I've stood by long enough trying to hitch a ride to nowhere 

I devour sweet music 

And all I want is another view of you through the mirror 
After all this time, what have we got? 

Educations we don't need 

And friends we don't like 

But you have to admit 

It sure does make for sweet music 

by Jeff Landry 

Dream of a New Day, or Hope 

I dreamt a dream of misty morning air 

and drops of dew fell 

from prairie grass blades. 

The sun arose from beneath 

jagged mountain tops where it slept. 

Soft red beams of morning dreams 

crept up from their angular graves 

and ran down the mountain line. 

Over sparkling fresh water lakes 

and trickling forest streams, 

through a host of oaks 

that stand guarding their post, 

above aromatic fresh green fields 

coming to where I lay. 

Thus started the morning's 

parade. Blue birds chirped 

an ancient song. 

On the land's crystal pool 

landed a swan. 

by ESP 



A Poem with Special Meaning 

On June 6, 1992, my husband of thirty-five years died of AIDS at the age of 55. He was diagnosed in June 
of 1990, after an open lung biopsy, and several months of illness. 

From the time of his diagnosis to the time of his death, our lives were thwart with despair and horror. 
My husband was a middle-class, working-still father of two. He was a heterosexual with no history of 
drug abuse or careless living. Yet, he contracted AIDS. How, where, why became immaterial, as slowly 
and painfully he died. 

One would probably question, how could I have put up with his illness? I can only say, it was because I 
loved my husband; he was a hard-working man that supported and cared for me and my children for 
many years. He deserved all that I could give, and then some. 

Fortunately, I was not infected. But, there is no doubt that I personally lived in fear as I took care of him. 
AIDS has that kind of hold on caregivers. It's not like taking care of someone with cancer, or heart 
disease. AIDS is infectious, and it can reach out and touch anyone. 

One of the most difficult problems with AIDS is the need to keep it a secret. That's why I have to 
maintain anonymity, stigma is ever present when it comes to AIDS. For me to tell the whole story, I 
would have to write a book. Maybe I will someday. 

In a literature book, I discovered a poem by Miller Williams, tided "Thinking About Bill, Dead of AIDS." 
This poem evokes many memories for me and my family. It holds special meaning for me because it 
speaks of a man named Bill, and that was my husband's name. 



"Thinking About Bill, Dead of AIDS" 



We did not know the first thing about 

how blood surrenders to even the smallest threat 

when old allergies turn inside out, 



the body rescinding all its normal orders 
to all defenders of flesh, betraying the head, 
pulling its guards back from all its borders. 



Thinking of friends afraid to shake your hand, 
we think of your hand shaking, your mouth set, 
your eyes drained of any reprimand. 

Loving, we kissed you, partly to persuade 
both you and us, seeing what eyes had said, 
that we were loving and were not afraid. 

If we had had more, we would have given more. 
As it was we stood next to your bed, 
stopping, though, to set our smiles at the door. 

Not because we were less sure at the last. 

Only because, not knowing anything yet, 

we didn't know what look would hurt you least. 

~ Miller Williams, 1989 

Freewrite (Cat) 



A cunning smile on my face and a warm cup of coffee in my hand-so this is where I've come-my mind is 
gone. So, where do you live? So tell me more. Where do you spend your time? She smiled at me and 
answered my questions and nothing could be better than talking to her. Nothing could be greater than her 
curiosity in me but for once I am the one asking the questions-Two on the left and one on the right-that's 
how it is and how it always will be and the guy sitting behind me-I know he's listening to my little 
conversation sipping away as if he's remembering past times with past loves-rambling stupid themes where 
time becomes insane-leaving the restaurant empty-and it never comes down to anything but you without 
her-if this is how life is to be I might as well say goodbye and wish them all luck-but it's still not the 
same— not without someone there-why the P** am I still talking when I know all hope is lost? Why doesn't 
she stop calling me? I sometimes think to myself that she's interested but lying to myself all along-so why 
bother? I've been down the road before-I shook Satan's hand and spit in his face-but when I came back I 
woke up-finally-It's like a nightmare after a nightmare-you know like the old cliched dream sequence 
when the dreamer has a nightmare than wakes up and finds himself in another nightmare and finally wakes 
up again and it's finally reality-. 



by Jeff Landry 



Out One Night, Next to the Ocean, Getting High 

It's tradition to us, driving to the edge of the Eastern United States, and fishing off the jetty for 
blues and stripers, from the uprising of the eye of God until the lid of the eye closes, and the day is gone. 
Usually, the wind is tormenting the skin of the ocean and our lines are never able to reach out as far as 
the schools of fish that have collaborated to chase and devour the sand eels and other varieties of smaller 
fish. We are restricted by depth, and the strong hands of the waves as they attempt to climb up the piled 
stones of the jetty. So, for warm beer, high winds, high tides, and dry decaying bait, we receive a 
maximum of two blues, the occasional flounder, and an insane amount of crabs that tear the bait apart 
before the fish can even smell its oily skin. It all depends on the time of year; if it is in the early fall, 
stripers are our main course that night. And in the late fall, the blues, and their oily skin, lubricate our 
fingers as we deep fry their boneless flesh. 

It's not as fresh, though, as it is in the summer time. The cold months are more productive with 
the fish, but the summer months, when the mackerel and pollock are our game, the tourists and their 
young-adult daughters and sons parade around in their bathing suits, stretching long blonde hair down 
their soft backs, straight into my eyes. Anyway, every year, my friend (who is female) and I (who am 
male) manage to catch one or two young souls as they innocently walk the walk of the board. It starts 
with the question, "Hey, wanna smoke a joint?" and refusal by the other party is not a usual story. And of 
course we, that is my friend (Bowmen) and I, dress ourselves in masks and deceive the others into 
thinking that we live here year round. Basically, it comes down to us making new friends, and in turn we 
invite them to fish with us on the morning of the morrow. Surprisingly, when we arrive at their hotel 
room at five-thirty in the morning, they are all ready to fish. 

It's a rare occasion that Bowmen completes a full day of fishing when she has a new fishing 
partner. It ends up that she invites her friend on a walk, where they end up in my truck, whereabouts she 
is more than willing to spread her legs and let the man's tongue slide wild in her velvet mouth. The irony 
of Bowmen is the fact that she is a virgin. I swear to God, Bowmen is a P**ing virgin! She just likes to 
have a tongue inside of her. Which I beg to differ with her opinion of virginity when it comes to her and 
the man on the bench seat of my truck, but I won't get into that. As for me and my fishing partners, I 
usually wait until the next day to invite them to my apartment and lay their bones across the worn 
mattress. The fact is, I am usually too afraid to engage in physical contact with a stranger until I have seen 
through them, and seen their soul. . 

It is nothing new for Bowmen and me to occasionally create pleasure for each other when we are 
at a loss of "significant others." We'd discussed this before, that is, I being the king of her golden treasure 
and taking from her, her virginity. And it was on a soft night in the summer months when her legs 



caressed my waist.. ."I feel like God is inside of me..." she would say. Yeah, felt God inside of her as I was 
pulsating myself in and out. 

After the occasion, a few days later, she met a man, a Latino man the same age as I, (which is 
nineteen) and to no surprise she took him in. He became the second man to penetrate her silky dress. 
It wasn't until two months later that she came to my house crying, saying that she had not intentionally 
spread for him, and that he had raped her. By this time she and I had had many occasions in which we 
were God all night, slaying each other's sexual fantasies; we were lovers in vain. 

It's always been a routine for me that after the summer passes, and the blues begin to run, I get 
tested. The results are always the same, the doctors shake my hand, and send me on my way with the 
negative sign on my paper. 

So tonight, the air is covered by rain, as wet as the ocean. I am dying. I am a factory for the virus 
to breed, and kill, and kill, and kill. And I suspect Bowmen the same, I suspect that I contracted the 
death virus from her silky dress. It is a year later, the sun is warming the air and the tourists are 
beginning to pull the family vacations and such. In Bowmen's mind, which is extremely suicidal, she is 
out to broaden herself with more feelings of security as she falls into the arms of young men, infecting 
them with her ornate death. In my mind, death is inevitable either way it is observed. I am creating 
death by not informing Bowmen of her problem, and by telling Bowmen that her blood runs hot with 
poison, I will lose the most intense relationship that I have ever known. 

Smoking this magnificent pot, with the lights from the city pouring onto the gray sand of the 
beach, I become alone in my thoughts. Surrounded by two other souls, Bowmen and her new found 
love. I've fished all the same as the previous years, with Bowmen still as my companion, she still ignorant 
of her tragedy. And through my clouded thoughts I hear Bowmen politely say, 

"Hey, Christian, give me the keys to your truck..." 



by Ryan Regan 



Snowcone Days 



With my snowcone in hand, sticky fingers, and rainbow colored mouth, I really loved those days. Days 
when we were all together. Summer weekend afternoons with a new adventure all the time. I can still 
feel the icy cold sensation of it running down my throat. Slurping and slushing each bite between my 
teeth. It was so cold I would get an awful headache. But I didn't care. I don't even think I noticed that 
then. My shirt looked like I had finger painted all over myself by the time I was finished. Still, I didn't 
care. I wish I had one of those snowcones now. Although it probably wouldn't taste the same. My 
fingers would be dirty, and my shirt...hey, I paid twenty dollars for this shirt! I wish I had one now; to 
freeze all the nonsense in my head since I've grown up. To have that same mentality and outlook on life 
that I did then. To be that scruffy litde kid that didn't care how I looked or what anyone thought. All I 
cared about was the next adventure, not even knowing where I was going, or what I was headed for. 
Sometimes I won and sometimes I didn't. Even though those days are gone forever, I think of them 
often. Especially when I see a six-year-old eating a snowcone. 

by Kathleen Mailloux 

Walk through to this side. Come on, what are you waiting for? I see. You're not sure if you can 
get past the barriers. Don't worry. I can help you through. All it takes is a litde self-examination. 

For those of you playing along, let's begin. First, you must reach deep inside yourself and palm 
your heart. It is feels right, you'll be able to tell immediately. If your heart is warm to the touch and 
keeps a steady, rhythmic, pulsating beat, then you passed the first step. However, if your heart felt 
lukewarm, or even cold, and had an unsteady beat, simply lower your head and walk away. I can help 
you no further. Maybe someday you can work your heart into shape— that is, if you really work it. 

For those who passed the first step, here is the second. With both hands now, squeeze the air out 
of both lungs. After doing this, if you gasped for air yearningly, you passed. You may stay for now. 
However, if you felt litde or no difference upon ridding your lungs of the air, as stated before, you may 
leave. 

Here is the last step. Reach inside your head and ball up your brain compactly, until it can be 
compressed no further. Now release your brain. If it bounced back to its original shape and size, you 
passed. It your brain remained that compact little sphere, then you failed. Those who failed this last step 
have to leave now, but those who didn't may walk through. When you walk through to this side, you 
really haven't traveled anywhere at all. Your travels have just begun. 

by Craig Mazzola 



Daddy's Little Girl 

She has big brown eyes. 

Dark hair upon her little head. 

Nose small like a button. 

Her smile beautiful as it could be. 

She's Daddy's little girl. 

Just learned to walk. 

Pigtails in her hair. 

Does everything she's told to do 

She's Daddy's litde girl. 

First day of school, 

Recess was great, 

But show-and-tell was the best. 

She's Daddy's little girl. 

High School, a job; 

She was always on the go. 

Prom soon came and next year would be graduation. 

Graduation came. 

Dad was more proud of her than anyone. 

She's Daddy's litde girl. 

She finally moved out on her own. 

When times were tough: Dad was always there. 

Met a nice young man. 

Soon a wedding was planned. 

She's Daddy's little girl. 

Walking up the aisle, with her arm in his. 

Daddy happily said, "I give her away." 

As he watched her say "I do!" 

A tear ran down his face. 

He whispered to himself, 

"She still will always be... 

Daddy's Little Girl 



by Sherry Phelps 



An as of yet untitled work... 

As I passed the hall of stones, 

I saw some with two dates, some with four. 

Some had six, others had more. 

One little stone caught my attention, 

it's two years read "1900" and "1964." 

I couldn't help but wonder 

of this man who died before I was born. 

Lived to the age of 64. 

Or 8 by 8, or 16 by 4. 

Over half a century lived, 

This was all he had to show. 

Just a simple, lonely stone. 

With two dates, both all alone. 

And I ask myself, 

Was he rich? 

Was he merry? 

Was he acquainted with a Gene, a Rich, or Terry. 

What did he love? 

What was his hate? 

Was he poor and worn but full of heart? 

or was he cold and empty on his estate? 

Was his box adorned? 

Was his loss mourned? 

I don't know. 

Did he leave anything behind? 

In his 64? 

Except his stone, 

and his legacy, to atone. 

by Chris Banahan 



As I pick up my pen and write this essay, I know that the usual comments and criticisms will 
follow. Questions of my sanity may be raised. There is no great paradox or hidden meaning. You may 
even find my thoughts nothing less than ludicrous, but I am forced to ask the question... 

Have you ever seen a dog smile? No, really, just taken the time to see him smile? Some dogs you 
can make smile, but I think that you have to know him very well, or be particularly amusing in a canine 
sort of way. 

I remember quite clearly the first time that a dog smiled at me; I swear, he winked, too. I thought 
that my eyes had played a trick on me, so, as I walked away I simply had to turn and look again. His eyes 
twinkled, but there was no smile. Must've been my eyes playing tricks on me. So I went on my way and 
missed the concept entirely. That is, until I picked up a collection of stories by John Steinbeck. It seems 
that Mr. Steinbeck had witnessed this phenomenon as well. But, as luck would have it, I wouldn't see 
another dog smile until... 

Let me first tell you, when I saw that dog smile the first time, I couldn't shake it from my mind. So 
once, and only once, while I was out at a Pub, I made the mistake of asking the patrons there(a mixed 
group to say the least, some rather notorious), if they had, like myself, ever seen a dog smile. You can 
imagine the response. The expected, but somewhat unexpected by me, onslaught of remarks that 
followed! Remarks, more remarks, a variety of remarks! Of men being dogs and who at times do 
smile-sometimes for no reason-or when you least expect it Then, the men returned with the female dog 
remarks, addressing the women of the room, in particular the barmaid, who was not undeserving of the 

commentaries that ensued from my seemingly innocent question. 

Anyway, returning to our story...one day, I was having a particularly bad day. Nothing was going 
right and every task that I attempted seemed arduous. I decided it best to give up and take out my dog, 
Rex. Rex had been watching me all day, attentive to my plight, it seemed. I began speaking to him, 
discussing the trials of the day, and I would speak for him whenever I was in need of a response. It was 
curiously amusing, speaking for the dog; and it lifted my spirits considerably, as sometimes we can only do 
for ourselves. We went to his favorite stomping grounds and I set him free. After a while the sun began 
to set, so I decided it to be time for him to take a swim in the pond playing "fetch," and then we would 
go. I told Rex this, and, although he disagreed , he knew that he had no choice. I threw the stick. He 
returned the stick, just out of reach in the water. I waded into the water to get it, and Rex grabbed it, 
just to move it a bit farther. Too late! My body was already in motion. Balance lost, I fell in. As I was 
falling, I looked up and could've sworn that he has smiling. We walked home, me dripping wet, and he 
with tail wagging. The family returned. Rex was excited, as usual. I took it upon myself to speak for him 
as he greeted each member, one by one. Just then it happened. The sides of his mouth went up! His 
teeth showed! He wasn't just smiling-that dog was grinning!! 

So, as you pass through your busy day, look around you. You may be missing something, something, 
something as unique and rare to see as a dog's smile. 

by Diane S. Talbot 



Renaissance 



The shell is cracking, 

and pieces of pain 

like part of a warm, snuggly comforter, 

extrude through the fissures. 

Pain that you had locked way 

for a long, long time. 

But you took it out, now and again, 

to worry at, 

like a cavity in a tooth. 

After awhile, it became familiar, 

scabbed over like a wound, 

and seemed to belong to some other person, 

in some other time. 

But now, it's escaping, 

to be replaced by who knows what... 

fear, 
despair, 

or perhaps more pain- 
the unknown kind, 
that takes hold of you 

and announces its presence at every turning. 
You thought you had it under control, 
foolish you! Don't you know 
that no one lives in a vacuum? 
Interrelationships 

will eventually erode the layers away, 
and you will be exposed. 
And the shell does not allow itself 
to be repaired. 

by Jeanne Hue 



Rat Notes 



I walked to the end of my road tonight hoping to meet 

Satan and his Father playing a card game in the power of the moon's 

light. I found myself next to a dead cat. The same cat that I fed popcorn 

to the night I was drinking beer alone on my porch, looking in the sky 

for Satan to come. The cat's head was flat like a dull note on the trombone. 

C sharp is the same as D flat and so on. And I forgot how to cry for 

the dead, the cat's face was facing the trees, it's eyelids slid over 

it's eyes when the tire ran like steel over it's brain. I once stepped 

on a blueberry muffin that had fallen to my kitchen floor. The blueberries spread 

over the blonde muffin like blood. 

That was the cat's face. 

Stuffed like a coin into the tar road. 

Two cars passed by. Flowing calmly over the cat's corpse. 

I stood on the side of the road and imagined what it would be like 

if one of the cars saw me standing like Christ over the cat. 

I imagined what it would be like to watch them turn their car around 

in a stranger's driveway and come back to ask me if it was my cat. 

Their engine would tick softly, and we'd both stand over the cat 

poking it's bloated figure with our shoes. 

But both cars passed through. 

I am the only one who fed the cat 

popcorn. I was it's only companion. It rubbed up against 

,my leg and purred as I placed some milk 

on the ground. 

Dogs will run by and sniff the corpse 

like a candy cane. 

Satan will come in the form of flies and crows and 

pink-faced vultures, and feast away. 



by Ryan Regan 



The Microchip God 

Listen to the elctronic digitalized "beep" 

of the time clock hanging on the wall. 

Follow the master like sheep 

over the stony ledge to a spiraling fall. 

Come at the insistent call 

of the telephones beckoning echoing ring. 

You must dance for the master when the fiber-optics sing. 

Sacrificed on cold steel altar 

for silicone implants. 

microchip brain to cure the insane. 



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Pistons of the 65 Chevy burst 

alive 

hot gasoline to quench the machine's thirst 

the odometer clicks 666. 

Give thanks to the microwave 

who prepared this meal 

through the miracles of modern science. 

The master calls his servants 

to the mountain top altar 

where the thermonuclear thunderbolt lies. 

Upon Olympus the machine 

crunches numbers, 

boils statistics, 

and calculates, 

the human race's fate. 



The caged red sirens on the walls 

scream in terror 

as mankind falls 

"Evacuate" 

"Evacuate" 

"too late!" 



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by ESP 



The decision to sit on a bench and enjoy the warmth of the day brought my assignment to me. Three girls 
plopped themselves down on the bench to my right, but not before one of them dropped her 
backbreaking pile of books onto the cement. The sound of WHAP starded me so that I turned and 
summoned up my sternest "Mom Look." I need not have bothered because they were immediately 
engrossed in their staccato banter and were not aware of my presence. 

I couldn't help but hear them because of their high pitched sounds. They used the lingo of their 
age with 'LIKE' peppering their conversation. As we all sat there for our own reasons-mine was now 
eavesdropping-it became evident that this trio had lots to say. Quickly, however, the eavesdropping 
became an interest in how they were talking and not what they were saying. I was absolutely amazed at 
their ability to use the interjection 'LIKE' so fluidly: "Like my mother like said"; "Like where will we like go 
after school?"; "Like what did you like do last weekend?" 

Should I interrupt them to congratulate them at having mastered this art? I think not-they would 
probably stare at me and say, "Like what did you like say?" 

by Val Schedin 



Lilacs 

Those pretty purple flowers 
Delightful and dainty 
Is what I miss the most. 

Sitting on the front porch, 

Listening to the sounds of the city. 
As a gentle breeze refreshes me 

I can smell them. 
They fill the air. 

They make you forget where you are. 

You dream of countrysides, 

Expansive fields of greens and golds, 
Of rivers and little knolls. 

Then you hear the fire truck and police siren ring. 

You awake and there you are. 
On the front porch. 

• 

by Rose Rosko 



Flowers of Poetry 



The eyes of God open 
and the sun is a new life 
for everything it touches. 

Standing in the doorway, 
I noticed the willow tree 
had bred her yearly 
angels. 

They are new children 
And they wear their rubbery 
white petals as clean 
as a wedding ring. 

And so they spread today, 
like angels hovering 
ten inches above the camouflaged 
grass blades. 

I tore three of their soft bodies 
away from the hands of the branches, 
I delivered them like a doctor, 
and placed them on the wall in my 
bedroom, in the exact place where the 
sun makes a home 
every morning. 

Just so each day, even the days when 

the clouds are shading my sky, 

I can notice my three angels 

and their rubbery skin, 

glow like a reflection of Christ. 



by Ryan Regan 




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